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Hezbollah: Israel won’t be allowed to set rules of conflict in Syria



Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement says the Israeli regime seeks to portray itself as the party calling the shots in the Syria crisis by launching hit-and-run attacks against the Arab country, but it will not be allowed to do so.

In an interview with Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV on Monday, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General, Sheikh Naim Qassem, warned that Israel’s airstrike against the T-4 airbase, located in Syria’s west-central province of Homs, would not go unanswered.

That attack, which took place on April 9, saw two Israeli F-15 warplanes use Lebanese air space to target the Syrian airbase with missiles, killing over a dozen people, including seven Iranian military advisors.

“By bombing the T-4 army base, Israel wanted to create an equation that shows that it controls the rules of conflict, and this is not acceptable to us,” the senior Hezbollah official said.

The regime sporadically carries out such attacks against Syria using Lebanon’s skies. Following the attack on T-4, Beirut said last week that it would lodge a complaint with the UN over the regime’s nonstop violations of Lebanon’s airspace.

The attacks are most of the time carried out against targets belonging to Hezbollah, which has been successfully helping Syria contain Takfiri militancy.

Aerial photograph shows the T-4 airbase in Syria, near the central city of Palmyra.

Qassem further played down Israel’s hit-and-run raids against targets in Syria and said the nature of such attacks show it is not prepared for a all-out war.

“Israel is not ready for an all-out war, and therefore it is waging a campaign between the wars,” he said, adding, “The axis of resistance…will not allow [Israel] to restrict its movement in Syria.”

‘Iranian response in the offing’

Qassem further said, “We expect an Iranian response against Israel, but we do not know its nature, or details.”

Iran has been offering the Syrian army with military advisory help in its counter-terrorism operations upon the Damascus government’s request.

On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi reacted to the attack, saying the regime could no longer “hit and run, and that the resistance forces in the region are able to respond to this crime at an appropriate time.”

“The occupying regime will sooner or later receive the necessary responses to its recent crime and aggression, and they will regret their misdeed,” he added.

Israel usually neither confirms nor rejects its role in military attacks against Syria.

However, a senior Israeli military official admitted in a recent interview with The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that the regime had been behind the raid against the T-4 base in Syria.

“It was the first time we attacked live Iranian targets,” said the unnamed official.

Hours later, the Israeli military rushed to dissociate itself from the official, making Friedman add an update to his piece.

“After the story appeared, the Israeli Army’s spokesman’s office disputed the characterization and accuracy of the raid by my Israeli source, and emphasized that Israel maintains its policy to avoid commenting on media reports regarding the raid on the T4 airfield and other events. He would not comment further,” the update said.

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